Author Topic: Netflix experimant proves covers matter  (Read 1188 times)  

Offline Lou Harpr

  • Status: Jane Austen
  • ***
  • Posts: 399
  • Los Angeles
    • View Profile
    • Book Cover Design
Netflix experimant proves covers matter
« on: May 05, 2016, 10:14:38 AM »
Netflix Knows Which Pictures You'll Click OnAnd Why

http://www.fastcompany.com/3059450/netflix-knows-which-pictures-youll-click-on-and-why

'The research indicated that looking at images not only prompted users to watch content, but accounted for a whopping 82% of their time spent browsing (as opposed to, say, reading movie titles or descriptions). In other words, the images mattered almost four times more than the text describing the storyline. Members also spent only 1.8 seconds considering each title. "We know that if you don't capture a member's attention within 90 seconds, he or she will likely lose interest and move on to another activity," says Nick Nelson, Netflix's global manager for creative services. "Images become the most efficient and compelling way to help them discover the perfect title as quickly as possible."'

Some cool, and surprising info in the article.

Offline SevenDays

  • Status: Arthur C Clarke
  • *****
  • Posts: 2665
  • Gender: Female
  • PNW
  • Imagine something cool and witty here.
    • View Profile
Re: Netflix experimant proves covers matter
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2016, 11:57:21 AM »
That's really very interesting. Thanks for sharing!

Alex A. King | Website

Offline HSh

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1827
  • Homicide, She Typed
  • Manslaughter, She Inscribed
    • View Profile
Re: Netflix experimant proves covers matter
« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2016, 12:07:58 PM »
That's fascinating!!  Thanks for sharing!
Hollis Shiloh  | My blog | Amazon page

Offline Digiterium

  • Status: Jane Austen
  • ***
  • Posts: 335
  • Gender: Male
  • Greater London, UK
  • Author, book cover designer, game designer.
    • View Profile
    • Digiterium.com
Re: Netflix experimant proves covers matter
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2016, 12:12:43 PM »
It's ironic that in a world where a lot are leaving print behind, that a "cover" should be so important in the digital version of a book. The cover is essentially a short-hand version of what the book is about or at least should try to convey the essence of the reading experience. So in that sense a cover in the online world is even more important than its print counterpart.

Phil Maxey | Blog

Online Jim Johnson

  • Status: Edgar Allan Poe
  • *******
  • Posts: 5749
  • Gender: Male
  • Alexandria, VA
  • Storyteller and Cat Minion
    • View Profile
    • Ineti Press
Re: Netflix experimant proves covers matter
« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2016, 12:13:57 PM »
Great stuff, Lou, thanks for sharing it. Given that, how has that information changed how you work as a cover artist? Is there more pressure to make just the right image, or is it as challenging as it has been?

Offline acapellabookcoverdesign

  • Status: Jane Austen
  • ***
  • Posts: 445
  • Hogwarts
  • Book cover designer
    • View Profile
    • Portfolio of Book Cover Designs
Re: Netflix experimant proves covers matter
« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2016, 12:41:47 PM »
This is very interesting. I can see that, it's faster to recognize an image then read a description. It's also probably easier on smaller screens like phones and tablets, too.

-Jennifer

Offline Nicholas Erik

  • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • ****
  • Posts: 668
    • View Profile
Re: Netflix experimant proves covers matter
« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2016, 01:01:42 PM »
It's incredible how much it matters. I was browsing Netflix the other day, and saw they changed the thumbnail for the X-Files. I'd stopped watching after the 1st season. Now I saw the same show with a different, modern image and I was like "wow, I should really get back into this. It looks cool." Completely changed my interpretation of what was inside the tin, so to speak.

Nick

Offline Dhewco

  • Status: Lewis Carroll
  • **
  • Posts: 152
    • View Profile
Re: Netflix experimant proves covers matter
« Reply #7 on: May 05, 2016, 01:07:34 PM »
Too bad the really good artists charge what they're worth. LOL. I keep hoping to find a diamond in the rough on Fiverr. My current cover is alright, it's what I asked for...but I would have loved an artist to hear my description, what I wanted...and slap me in the face for being so ignorant, hehe. Five or ten bucks is about what I can afford right now.

Anyway, thanks for the link.
I have a new blog, take a look: writerdavidh.wordpress.com
I also write Alternative History and thrillers.
David Hewitt

Offline Lou Harpr

  • Status: Jane Austen
  • ***
  • Posts: 399
  • Los Angeles
    • View Profile
    • Book Cover Design
Re: Netflix experimant proves covers matter
« Reply #8 on: May 05, 2016, 01:10:51 PM »
Great stuff, Lou, thanks for sharing it. Given that, how has that information changed how you work as a cover artist? Is there more pressure to make just the right image, or is it as challenging as it has been?

Well, it reinforces some things I've suspected. And I often look at movie posters for inspiration anyway--they are designed to work both on billboards and in thumbnail. What surprised me was the part of facial expressions. The example was just plain goofy, not something I'd normally use, but then again it was for comedy. I'm regularly frustrated with the blank looks of stock photo models.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2016, 01:52:26 PM by Lou Harpr »

Offline Alan Petersen

  • Status: Dostoevsky
  • ******
  • Posts: 3242
  • Gender: Male
  • San Francisco, CA
  • I write high octane thrillers.
    • View Profile
    • High Octane Action Thrillers from Alan Petersen
Re: Netflix experimant proves covers matter
« Reply #9 on: May 05, 2016, 01:16:01 PM »
Great article, thanks for sharing. I browse Netflix the same way and even Bookbub I do a quick scan of the covers see which one jumps out at me. I didn't even realize I was doing that right away.

This is interesting: "However, one interesting thing that Netflix discovered is that people tend to focus more on images of people displaying complicated expressions over stoic or benign ones. "

I've used silhouette image on my cover but maybe showing an actual face with an expression would engage people more. I realize it's different than a movie or TV show with actors and actresses vs a book character.

Offline Joseph J Bailey

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1076
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
    • Joseph J. Bailey - Author
Re: Netflix experimant proves covers matter
« Reply #10 on: May 05, 2016, 01:21:22 PM »
Great share, Lou!

This just goes to show how much consideration we need to put into our cover designs.


Joseph J. Bailey | Website | Facebook | Goodreads

Offline Dolphin

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1867
  • Gender: Male
  • Under the Sea
  • Skree'ee--eee, eeek!
    • View Profile
Re: Netflix experimant proves covers matter
« Reply #11 on: May 05, 2016, 01:25:34 PM »
Well, it reinforces some things I've suspected. And I often look at movie posters for inspiration anywaythey are designed to work both on billboards and in thumbnail. What surprised me was the part of facial expressions. The example was just plain goofy, not something I'd normally use, but then again it was for comedy. I'm regularly frustrated with the blank looks of stock photo models.

They're probably trying for the Kuleshov Effect, which makes sense. Kuleshov's goal was to demonstrate the power of editing, though, and not to contrast that with the impact of a properly emotive actor. Perhaps his findings are a bit oversold when you can get the real thing instead of editing around it.

Offline geronl

  • Status: A A Milne
  • ******
  • Posts: 4131
    • View Profile
    • Floyd Looney's Sci-Fi
Re: Netflix experimant proves covers matter
« Reply #12 on: May 05, 2016, 01:35:16 PM »
I sense much doomage

Floyd Looney

Offline Lou Harpr

  • Status: Jane Austen
  • ***
  • Posts: 399
  • Los Angeles
    • View Profile
    • Book Cover Design
Re: Netflix experimant proves covers matter
« Reply #13 on: May 05, 2016, 01:59:03 PM »
I've used silhouette image on my cover but maybe showing an actual face with an expression would engage people more. I realize it's different than a movie or TV show with actors and actresses vs a book character.

There's definitely something about the actor effect. I was browsing Netflix earlier and clicked on a movie just because I saw Martin Sheen on the cover. I associate quality with him, but the movie turned out to be rubbish. At the same time, I think American movie poster design tends to focus too much on the stars, at the detriment of the overall design.

Offline Domino Finn

  • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • ****
  • Posts: 964
  • Gender: Male
  • Dark Urban Fantasy
    • View Profile
    • DominoFinn.com
Re: Netflix experimant proves covers matter
« Reply #14 on: May 05, 2016, 02:08:13 PM »
Neat article, although I don't necessarily agree with their takeaways. Besides the international audience one, the rest basically come down to "which has the largest/ easiest to read character on it?"

So, sure, 3+ people will get crowded and small, and that's bad. But the villains versus heroes? Come on, those hero pictures are tiny and unreadable versus the large single villain shots. Not that I disagree in some cases, especially when you have a bland hero and a very compelling enemy like a dragon. And the expression thing also (I think) simply comes down to readability.

Essentially, this is reinforcing what indie authors already know: thumbnail readability is key.

Domino Finn | website | twitter | facebook

Offline Anarchist

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1829
    • View Profile
Re: Netflix experimant proves covers matter
« Reply #15 on: May 05, 2016, 02:24:50 PM »
I was browsing Netflix the other day, and saw they changed the thumbnail for the X-Files. I'd stopped watching after the 1st season.

Nick, that's criminal.
"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." - Thomas Edison

"Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat." - Sun Tzu

Princess Charming

  • Guest
Re: Netflix experimant proves covers matter
« Reply #16 on: May 05, 2016, 02:34:40 PM »
Nick, that's criminal.
Yup.
I liked the old X-files cover better...the new one reminds me of the new reboot--which SUCKED!

Offline Dolphin

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1867
  • Gender: Male
  • Under the Sea
  • Skree'ee--eee, eeek!
    • View Profile
Re: Netflix experimant proves covers matter
« Reply #17 on: May 05, 2016, 02:36:25 PM »
Nick, that's criminal.

I had trouble getting into it too. Maybe if I took a gander at that sexy new thumbnail, though....

Offline A.A

  • Status: Arthur C Clarke
  • *****
  • Posts: 2448
  • When I grow up....
    • View Profile
Re: Netflix experimant proves covers matter
« Reply #18 on: May 05, 2016, 02:45:36 PM »
That's funny, because I said something along those lines about NetFlix to my partner recently.

In my part of Australia, we only got internet fast enough to run NetFlix in March this year. And when looking at the movie 'covers', I said that if I'd have NetFlix before, it would have completely changed my view and understanding of genre book covers. I absolutely do click on movie 'covers' according to how interesting the image is. And am more likely to watch a movie if I like the cover.

Only thing is, book covers aren't presented as nicely and large as movie covers.

Offline DGS

  • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • ****
  • Posts: 612
    • View Profile
Re: Netflix experimant proves covers matter
« Reply #19 on: May 05, 2016, 02:57:05 PM »
A picture is worth a thousand words...

Offline Sonya Bateman

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1126
  • Nothing interesting to say.
    • View Profile
Re: Netflix experimant proves covers matter
« Reply #20 on: May 05, 2016, 05:23:13 PM »
This is very cool stuff. Thanks for the link! :D


WRONG SIDE OF HELL -- #27 of the 50 Self-Published Books Worth Reading 2016. Woo!
Sonya Bateman

Online PermaStudent

  • Status: Jane Austen
  • ***
  • Posts: 433
  • Be so good they can't ignore you. --Steve Martin
    • View Profile
Re: Netflix experimant proves covers matter
« Reply #21 on: May 05, 2016, 06:38:21 PM »
I think I'm going to try more emotive expressions on my next series, just to see what happens.
  I write urban fantasy.  There are girls in gowns and glowy hands on my covers.